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Celebrating Black History Month

To celebrate Black History Month, some of our black colleagues at RS Components are highlighting their historical role models that inspire them to showcase their achievements, innovations and contributions. In doing so, we live out the “each one, teach one” ethos and hope that in sharing what we have learned with you, you can pass on the knowledge…

Mohammed "Mo" Ibrahim

Celebrated by Kudzai Manduvi, National Account Manager – Education Lead at RS Components

Mohammed "Mo" Ibrahim is a Sudanese-British billionaire businessman. He worked for several telecommunications companies, before founding Celtel, which when sold had over 24 million mobile phone subscribers in 14 African countries. After selling Celtel in 2005 for $3.4 billion, he set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to encourage better governance in Africa, as well as creating the Mo Ibrahim Index, to evaluate nations' performance.

In 2007 he initiated the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, a monetary prize and lifelong incentivization scheme paid to African heads of state who deliver security, health, education and economic development to their constituents and democratically transfer power to their successors. Ibrahim has pledged to give at least half of his wealth to charity by joining The Giving Pledge.

Serena Jameka Williams

Celebrated by Ayomide Adebayo, Project Manager at RS Components

Serena Jameka Williams is an American professional tennis player and former world No. 1 in women's single tennis. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the second-most of all time.

Williams has become more involved in social change as her career has progressed, she wrote an open letter in Porter Magazine's "Incredible Women of 2016" which highlighted the disparity between how women's contributions to the sport of tennis are reported compared to men’s and called out issues of equal pay in tennis. Williams has received several awards for her activism, particularly for her activism directed towards Black communities. She was listed among the 35 "most remarkable and beautiful black women" in the world by Essence magazine.


Celebrated by Daniel Stewart-Dexter, Head of New Product Induction and Data Governance at RS Components

Around the year 1706, Onesimus, a slave, introduced America to inoculation. At the time, smallpox epidemics were common with a very low survival rate. Onesimus explained that for centuries people in Africa had extracted small amounts of material from an infected person and scratched it into the skin of an uninfected one. Deliberately creating a mild case of the disease that created full immunity in a healthy person.

Due to his status, the theory was strongly opposed though eventually one doctor was convinced and following some testing, a small group of people bought into Onesimus’ method. Similar tests were evolving and noting successes in other parts of the world including China and Turkey causing word to spread around the western world, making the practice become more common place.

Maya Angelou

Celebrated by Funke Adeniyi, Senior Product Owner at RS Components

Maya Angelou, born Marguerite Annie Johnson was an American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist. She published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and is credited with a list of plays, movies, and television shows spanning over 50 years. She received dozens of awards and more than 50 honorary degrees.

She was also an actress, writer, director, and producer of plays, movies, and public television programs. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. She was respected as a spokesperson for black people and women, and her works have been considered a defence of black culture. Her books centre on themes such as racism, identity, family and travel.